Dissing the Dismissers…an astrologer speaks out…

I know of what I speak, being a reformed dismisser myself. Readers of this blog may recall the tale of my being stopped in my dismissive tracks by a startling prediction – made as a result of a chance encounter with astrologers in a launderette in Bath, England – that I would in fact become an astrologer, too. They were right. You can find the full story in the Fate section of my latest book “Postcards to the Future”.

Moving from ignorant dismissal of a tradition going back at least six thousand years, to gradual acceptance of its validity based on study and experience, was one of the most profound and humbling processes of my entire life.

In this 8 minute reading, “Astrology is a load of rubbish!” Please, NOT that tedious old trope again…” I present the third spoken extract from “Postcards’ … sixty essays, articles and columns I’ve had published in a range of websites, magazines and journals since 1995 including Astrodienst, The Mountain Astrologer, Dell Horoscope, and the UK’s Astrological Journal: my ‘Mercurial Musings’.

I hope you enjoy what I have to say!

I’m so pleased that “Postcards to the Future” has been collecting great reviews so far – all five stars. Here is the most recent one, from master astrologer Steven Forrest, USA:

Like a long talk with a wise friend . . .

Reviewed in the United States on January 31, 2022

Verified Purchase

…Reading Anne Whitaker’s book felt like having lunch and a wide-ranging, fascinating conversation with a friend, only to look down at my watch and realizing that cocktail hour had arrived. Time flies, in other words. I’ve been in the world of serious astrology for a long time and most of what I read are things I have heard before. Such books serve a purpose, but at this point I don’t get much out of reading them myself. Not Anne’s book! I found myself turning the pages as if it were a novel, and rarely did ten pages go by without me learning something new or thinking of something in a new way. She’s not only had a lot of experience, she’s has digested it and turned it to real wisdom. My only frustration was that she wasn’t sitting there with me so I could interrupt and say, “You know what THAT makes me think of!” Thank you, Anne — with these luminous pages, you have advanced our cause…’

Steven Forrest and
“Postcards…”

Thank you so very much, everyone who has reviewed, promoted in various ways, and purchased “Postcards…”. I am so grateful to you all!

••••••••

550 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2022

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page of Writing from the Twelfth House

“Postcards to the Future” : four reasons to be cheerful…

As you can see from the photo, I’m feeling really cheerful – serene, even! – despite this unremittingly horrible, wet, dreary, cold Monday in my home city of Glasgow. The reason? In recent days I have had no less than FOUR more great pieces of publicity for my latest book “Postcards to the Future”.

A five star Amazon review from Steven Forrest (which I’m sharing here below); an extract from “Postcards…” ie ‘The ethics of astrological practice: a Question needing an Answer…’ (pp 92-8) which appeared in that excellent new on-line magazine “Timelords”; Brian Clark’s lovely review in “The Mountain Astrologer Magazine” ; and today, ‘An Astrologer’s Job Description’ (“Postcards…” p 84) which has just appeared on Astrodienst

Steven Forrest‘s Review:

5.0 out of 5 stars

Like a long talk with a wise friend . . .

Reviewed in the United States on January 31, 2022

Verified Purchase

…Reading Anne Whitaker’s book felt like having lunch and a wide-ranging, fascinating conversation with a friend, only to look down at my watch and realizing that cocktail hour had arrived. Time flies, in other words. I’ve been in the world of serious astrology for a long time and most of what I read are things I have heard before. Such books serve a purpose, but at this point I don’t get much out of reading them myself. Not Anne’s book! I found myself turning the pages as if it were a novel, and rarely did ten pages go by without me learning something new or thinking of something in a new way. She’s not only had a lot of experience, she’s has digested it and turned it to real wisdom. My only frustration was that she wasn’t sitting there with me so I could interrupt and say, “You know what THAT makes me think of!” Thank you, Anne — with these luminous pages, you have advanced our cause…’

Steven Forrest and “Postcards…”

Thank you so very much, everyone!

400 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2022

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page of Writing from the Twelfth House

New Moon in Aquarius: Astrology Speaks!

This morning I did an hour’s housework: an event sufficiently unusual in itself to qualify for an Aquarian stamp. Disproportionately pleased considering how much hadn’t got done, I headed out for a bracing walk, narrowly avoiding being blown over by periodic gusts of wind. 

Hurrah! Black Pine Coffee, my favourite Glasgow West End coffee shop, as of today was once again allowed to admit sitting customers. However, the message couldn’t yet have got around, since the place was unusually quiet, giving me more of a chance than usual to chat with the owner, Pete, and his assistant Sandi (real names with permission). 

We agreed we were glad January was now over, it not being the best month for single minded enthusiastic focus on the tasks in hand, to put it mildly.… Personally, if at all possible I prefer to spend that month with a metaphorical blanket over my head. “I like January though,” said Pete. “It’s my birth month, after all.” I remembered that he had told me this some time ago ( I do drop in here quite a lot – great coffee, fun chat) and I had remembered the date as being close to that of my late husband Ian on 30th January. “I was born on the 28th”

“That makes you an Aquarian, Pete,” said Sandi. “Funnily enough, I have an Aquarian Moon. My mum’s friend drew up my birth chart when I was born (1995). I still have it in my baby book.” It was beginning to occur to me that you couldn’t make this up: here I was, a few hours into the Aquarian New Moon, talking to a Sun Aquarius man and an Aquarian Moon woman.

“Well, Anne”, said Pete, turning to me as he made my coffee, “you’re an astrologer. What would you say were key Aquarian characteristics?” So of course I gave my usual spiel about it being impossible to mirror back accurately the complexities of any human using purely one lens, eg that of the Sun sign or the Moon sign, and how you needed the full birth horoscope based on time, date and place to do that. 

“Yes, yes, you’ve told me that before,” persisted Pete, grinning winningly. “But go on: name just a couple!” 

‘Very stubborn, very charming, somewhat left field’ I replied. 

“Yep, that’s me!” said Pete.

Sandi by this time was looking at me expectantly…clearly my spiel was not having much impact as yet. ‘Aquarian Moon – give me space!’ said I, quite happy to play the game with such great young folks. “Oh yes – too true, that’s me!” she said.

By now, some other customers were drifting in, so I settled down to drink excellent coffee and catch up with my phone emails. However, during a lull some minutes later, Sandi tentatively asked “Do you have any astrology apps on your phone?” Very shortly afterwards we were deep in contemplation of our mutual TimePassages app, with me explaining to her how to navigate it.

 Noting her Aquarian Moon in the eleventh house, and a strong emphasis on the ninth, I suggested she contact Aquarius Rising, the West of Scotland Astrological Association which I had founded with a group of my students in 2001 and is still going strong on-line, ably Chaired by D-L Gordon. I also steered her in the direction of Astrodienst – pointing out that she could obtain a quality synthesised written astrology interpretation there via one of Dr Liz Greene’s AstroIntelligence reports.

I also recommended one or two of my astrology colleagues if she wanted an in-person/zoom reading of a high standard from astrologers who are reputable, experienced, know what they are talking about, and  take their responsibilities to clients seriously.  I strongly suggested she be very wary of the vast array of  ‘astrologers’ enabled by the ease with which one can acquire a smattering of astrological knowledge on-line these days – but without a firm grounding in either experience, in-depth study, or an adequate awareness of the responsibility inherent in calling oneself an astrologer and taking on both teaching and practice of such an ancient, powerful art. 

Sandi is clearly very very interested in astrology – I did my best to point her in some quality directions, and she clearly appreciated that. Who knows where her interest may take her? I hope I get a further opportunity to find out! 

It was a delightful encounter: totally spontaneous, completely unexpected – and a brilliant manifestation of the Aquarian New Moon’s current energy field drawing the three of us together ‘in the moment’ and offering a shared experience very much of the nature of that moment. 

But that Aquarian Moon wasn’t finished making its presence felt in my life today. On the way home, I ran into a journalist friend I hadn’t seen for quite a while – someone with a strongly Aquarian vibe. 

“How’s your book doing?” she asked. 

‘Really well, getting lovely reviews’, I replied. 

“Is there anywhere local I can buy it, rather than from Amazon?”

‘Sure – the lovely Opal Moon, just round the corner from you…’

“Oh brilliant, I’ll call by and get a copy on my way home!”

‘Do that, and I’ll treat you to a coffee and sign it…’

“Deal!! See you soon, then…” 

Off we both went, much cheered by our encounter. It had been a most Aquarian, New Moon sort of day. And – it was still only 1pm! 

Yes, since you ask – there was more in similar vein to follow. 

But that’s a tale for another day…

900 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2022

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page of Writing from the Twelfth House

Mercury Retrograde: instructions for Beginners –and Dismissers!

Mercury – isn’t he gorgeous?! However….

Gorgeous Mercury!
Gorgeous Mercury!

….in the spring, summer and autumn/winter of each year, the planet Mercury does something strange. It appears to slow down in its orbital pace, stop, then start to move backwards. This is known as retrograde motion. It is of course an illusion. Otherwise, we’d have fallen off the solar system aeons ago.

However, the effects down here on Earth when Mercury is in its 2-3 week retrograde phases are anything but illusory. For years, I studied this phenomenon in my own life, the lives of family, friends, and astrology students. In sum, communications of all types become strangely awkward and hard to manage during those times.

I learned to look forward to having some rest during Mercury Retrograde, since my referral rate dropped. Normally clients always turned up for appointments, MR periods being the exception. Cancellation rates increased.

Once, a client called to cancel because her house had just caught fire (yes, she called the Fire Brigade first!).Two clients often turned up at the same time. Cheques invariably got lost in the post, or clients forgot to bring cash.

One summer I moved office during MR, becoming involved in a dispute of byzantine complexity with the telephone company which took almost a nervous breakdown on my part to sort out.

As MR periods approached, I used to entertain my students by looking at their individual horoscopes, which enabled me to be more specific regarding possible MR effects. I told one student, a lawyer, that a female helper in his workplace was likely to have communication problems which would impact on him.

His feedback?  His secretary sprained her wrist, and was unable to type during the entire MR period.

Mercurial people, ie those with the sign Gemini strongly emphasised  or the planet Mercury  dominant in their horoscopes,  are most affected  by Mercury’s retrograde phase. Anyone involved in the business of communication can look forward to a less than smooth three weeks.

A good example is my old friend Ronnie who used to run a first rate copying and web design business here in Glasgow; Mercury’s retrograde havoc wreaked on his computers one year convinced him that “There’s definitely something in this astrology business, Anne!”

What can mercurial folk do, then, to maximise advantage and minimise disruption when Mercury is retrograde? MR is a positive time for going back over all matters to do with communication, and cleaning up.

Some examples: if you’ve been putting off a purge of your filing system, do it now. If your accountant has asked you nine times for your last year’s papers, use this 2-3 weeks to update them.

Dig out and finish some of those half-worked articles if you are a writer.  If you’ve been writing furiously and the brain/wrist is seizing up, have a break. Catch up with some reading. As we know, fallow time is creative.

The don’ts? If it is not feasible to avoid or delay taking important new initiatives or completing existing processes, eg signing contracts, leases, etc, try to accept complications or thwartings philosophically.

Also – be prepared for delays, eg when travelling, especially long distance.  Don’t sit under the mailbox waiting for cheques. And please, don’t arrange for a phone installation!

“Come on then !” I can hear you shouting as you search for my mobile number or email. “Tell us WHEN !”

….oh, all right. I’ll tell you:

2022: January 14-February 3 in Aquarius & Capricorn

May 10-June 3 in Gemini & Taurus

September 9-October 2 in Libra & Virgo

 December 29-January 18, 2023 in Capricorn

‘Postcards…’ Mercurial Musings…

PS. I know you’ll find this hard to believe: I have just published a book of collected essays, articles and columns called “Postcards to the Future” – available everywhere on Amazon – whose subtitle is ‘Mercurial Musings 1995-2021’. However – there isn’t a single article on Mercury, or even Mercury Retro. Maybe I should rectify that in the next edition…

Gorgeous Mercury!
Gorgeous Mercury!

700 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2022

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page of Writing from the Twelfth House

On the Capricorn New Moon: Six Reasons Why I Love Astrology…

On impulse – that 2nd January 2022 New Moon at 12 degrees Capricorn, trining Uranus at 11 Taurus, trining my 9 Virgo Ascendant – I dashed off a seven-minute recording of me reading the Preface of my new book “Postcards to the Future”. It went down really well, and I have had some lovely comments, amongst them from long-term fellow astrologer and USA Facebook Friend Maureen:

“Love this Anne, I think you’ve found a new niche! ❤️

So – I’ve decided to post the video version which is now on YouTube. Hope you enjoy it!!

…from Anne Whitaker “Postcards to the Future; Mercurial Musings 1995-2021

100 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2022

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page of Writing from the Twelfth House